Arts and Entertainment
 

Producers are scrambling to make 'gran-coms' for older audiences

Warner Bros is shelving The Maccabees, and writer Joe Eszterhas wrote a nine-page letter to Mel Gibson giving his detailed opinion on why the plug was pulled

Film dumped but Hollywood make 'Mad Mel' sequel

For two decades, Mel Gibson was at the top of the Hollywood tree. Building on his successes as an actor, he won an Oscar in 1996 for directing Braveheart and routinely commanded salaries of more than $20 million.

Lucas has been trying to build the studios in San Francisco for 25 years

The final episode: George Lucas bows to protests and pulls plug on film studio plans

The George Lucas empire is striking back after giving up its 25-year battle to build a palatial film studio in the pastoral hills north of San Francisco.

Lucky Break, By Esther Freud

Three characters, perfectly cast

Dom Joly: On with the motley – it's time to fool Britannia

I'm just getting ready to start annoying the people of Britain with my new TV show, Fool Britannia. We start filming in a couple of weeks, so preparation is well under way. Things have changed since I last dipped my toe into the world of hidden camera. We used to just wander into work in the morning, have a "bit of a think" and then decide what we were going to film. Maybe I would spot a milkman and mutter, "Oh, we haven't done anything with a milkman character." So we'd then drive up to a costume house, such as Angels, and root around for a milkman costume. Once we'd got this it would be nearly time for lunch – so we'd find somewhere for a nice, two-hour Continental-style break. And, hopefully, over the meal we would have come up with an idea for what to do with the milkman.

Alison Steadman: 'A gang of lads saw me and shouted "Pamela!" It really gave me a thrill'

I was proud to be involved in the first lesbian kiss on TV It was in 1974 in a BBC play called Girl, with Myra Frances, and it got a lot of reaction at the time. Then, when Brookside came on years later, people said "Ooh, Anna Friel did this kiss with another woman, and it was the first time on TV." And I'm like, no, actually it was me!

Rampling says: 'The only way life is interesting to me - and I'm in a particular profession where I can do this - is to jump off the cliff. This is what excites me.'

Charlotte Rampling: 'I've lived with fear all my life'

She has never been afraid to bare her soul on screen – but talking about the anxieties that led to a very public breakdown has not been easy for Charlotte Rampling. Which only makes her new film all the more intriguing...

Sean Penn's unsuspected comic talents give Sorrentino's film its lightness of touch

This Must Be the Place, Paolo Sorrentino (15)

The normally straight-laced actor is a hoot as an aimless, ageing rock star who finds redemption pursuing a Nazi war criminal in this strange, warm and humorous take on the road movie

Between the Covers 08/04/2012

Your weekly guide to what's really going on inside the world of books

Liam Neeson

Liam Neeson - 'A sex symbol? Flattering, but I don't think so'

With five films out this year, Hollywood disagrees with Liam Neeson's view he might be past his sell-by date. The chatty star of Schindler's List tells Gill Pringle about his new nautical role – and the time he serenaded Paul McCartney with a Beatles medley...

Vincente Minnelli's The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)

The dark side of the money men

Little has changed since Vincente Minnelli's tale of a brutal producer

Both films portray Joseph Kony of the LRA as a brutal warlord

Kony 2: Sequel to video that went viral receives its online premiere

It was one of the most successful viral campaign videos ever, supported by A-list celebrities and drawing praise for making the Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), globally notorious.

Director of 'Shakespeare Must Die' Ing Kanjanavanit holds up a DVD the banned movie

Hubble bubble, Macbeth's in trouble as Thailand bans film

Film censors in Thailand have stepped in to ban a film based on William Shakespeare's Macbeth, claiming it could inflame political tensions.

The Pirates in an Adventure with Scientists (U) / Wrath of the Titans (12A) (4/5, 2/5)

Voices: Hugh Grant, Martin Freeman, Imelda Staunton, Brian Blessed

Tabucchi: 'Like a comet I've traversed infinite nights,' he wrote

Antonio Tabucchi: Novelist who became a fierce critic of Berlusconi

Antonio Tabucchi was a leading Italian novelist, intellectual, academic and columnist, widely known to his countryman as a ferocious critic of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. He regularly accused Mr Berlusconi of using his political power to further his own interests. He was also an internationally-renowned expert and professor of the literature of Portugal, which he considered his second home and where he died of cancer aged 68.

Last Night's Viewing: I Never Said Yes, BBC3<br />The Apprentice, BBC1

I don't know what the demographic overlap is between Independent readers and the BBC3 audience, but if you haven't been watching you might be interested to learn that the Corporation's most frivolous channel has also built an impressive record for bringing serious social issues to a younger audience. It has produced reality formats that illuminate the true cost of the cheap goods we enjoy, it's used pop presenters to explore foreign affairs and it's done thoughtful documentaries about disability issues in which disabled people serve as reporters, not just the passive subject matter. This week alone you could have watched a drama documentary about an inner-city murder on Monday, Reggie Yates exploring the world of teen gangs on Tuesday and, last night, Pips Taylor's I Never Said Yes, a documentary about the worrying gap between reported rapes and convictions. And unfortunately the last of these was an example of how good intentions aren't all you need.

Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

Voices
Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014
voices

Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

News
peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Sport
football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
Arts and Entertainment
Leonardo DiCaprio talks during the press conference for the film
films

Film follows park rangers in the Congo

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Bruges
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Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album